I think his specific reason for picking Ryan was probably a lot simpler than most of today’s fancy analysis suggests. If the most knowledgeable policy thinker among your party’s elected officials also happened to be basically the best communicator among them, you would probably want him on your presidential ticket. There could hardly be much doubt that this is the case regarding Paul Ryan, and it is to Romney’s great credit that he saw that and acted on it.
Many of the instant analyses of the implications of the pick also strike me as a bit too fancy. It must be true to some degree that Romney recognized that picking Ryan meant his campaign would need to become a little more focused on policy than it has been, and I certainly hope that happens. But I suspect Romney chose Ryan to help him run a better and stronger version of the campaign he has already been running: One focused above all on Obama’s economic failures and their implications for the country’s future, and which uses its own policy proposals to convey a sense of competence and direction more than to broadcast very specific intentions.
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